Who will win MLB MVP in 2022? Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani won AL MVP and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper took home his second NL MVP honor in 2021.
Major League Baseball is the only American professional sport that wards two MVP awards, one to each conference. It allows two players to take home a prestigious honor, joining some of the best players in MLB history with the coveted award on their trophy case.
Bookmark this page for updates on the MLB MVP race throughout the season, including the latest odds and analysis.
MLB MVP watch: Yordan Alvarez making a run at Aaron Judge
Here is Sportsnaut’s breakdown of the 2022 MLB MVP race so far. Each candidate is ranked based on a variety of factors. Those factors include stats, team performance, lineup factors and probability of the overall production being sustained.
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MLB stats as of Tuesday, June 28
AL MVP race
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
Walk-off hits are buying Aaron Judge a little extra life in the MLB. He came through twice in the clutch against the Houston Astros, providing even more memorable moments for the highlight reel in an AL MVP campaign. However, Judge’s lead in the race is slipping. A .276/.363/.602 slash line and 163 wRC+ in June is outstanding, but it’s far behind some of his peers in the MVP watch.
Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros
Yordan Alvarez is the best hitter in baseball right now. The Houston Astros slugger will finish June with a wRC+ north of 260, one of the highest single-month marks this season. He’s also driven in 26 runs during that stretch and posted a .494 OBP with a .822 OPS. Frankly, the only thing that hurts him is he’s primarily a designated hitter. Even with that in mind, he moves past Jose Ramirez in the MLB MVP race.
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Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Guardians
While Jose Ramirez drops one spot, it’s not a reflection of a bad month at the plate. The .302/.357.620 slash line is MVP-caliber. Even more impressive, in an era where strikeout rates explode, Ramirez’s strikeout rate (7.4%) in June is the same as his walk rate. While he’s third on our ballot, any case made for him at the top is understandable.
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
Mike Trout is just a force of nature when healthy and also someone more than willing to pull a friend out of a scuffle, even if they play for another team. As long as Trout is in the Los Angeles Angels lineup, he’ll produce and be a factor for AL MVP. With so many strong candidates on contenders, though, team record will be held against him and it’s not unfair this year.
Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox
Rafael Devers might be the most underrated MLB star around. He actually leads the American League in FanGraphs’ Wins ABove Replacement, becoming a much better defender at third base this season. The 25-year-old is coming into his own, propelled by a better approach at the plate and he is the biggest reason for Boston’s surgery in June.
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NL MVP race: Paul Goldschmidt on top, Pete Alonso and Dansby Swanson in the mix
Stats as of Wednesday, June 29
Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals
The Bryce Harper injury swings the NL MVP race dramatically. Paul Goldschmidt held a sizable advantage, but Harper provided him some legitimate competition. With the reigning NL MVP sidelined through August, Goldschmidt is the overwhelming favorite and a great June (208 wRC+, 1.106 OPS) only strengthens his case.
Pete Alonso, New York Mets
Pete Alonso isn’t generating a ton of buzz right now in the MLB MVP watch. However, the New York Mets are one of the best teams in baseball and Alonso posted a .993 OPS with a 174 wRC+ in June. Perhaps competing in the Home Run Derby again and coming out on top might strengthen his resume.
Manny Machado, San Diego Padres
We started to see the best version of Manny Machado right before the foot injury. He posted a 200 wRC+ with a 370/.452/.630 slash line in 31 plate appearances before going down in Colorado. He hasn’t played in 10 days and the Padres still haven’t put him on IL. For the time being, he can’t move up in the MLV MVP race.
Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves
In a contract year, Dansby Swanson looked awful out of the gate. He slashed .216/.293/.351 in April with a 36.6% strikeout rate and an 80 wRC+. Since May 1, Swanson owns a .329/.385/.546 line with a 158 wRC+, 12 home runs, nine steals and dropped his strikeout rate below 25%. Pair that with his defense and the role he played in turning the Atlanta Braves around, that warrants some NL MVP votes.
Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers
Whether Freddie Freeman is happy in Los Angeles or not, he’s producing. THe Dodgers are relying on him even more now with Mookie Betts sidelined indefinitely. While Freeman isn’t hitting for the power everyone witnessed in Atlanta, a 146 wRC+ and .873 OPS in June certainly gets the job done.
Check below for our evaluation of the MLB MVP predictions and race heading into the season.
MLB MVP odds 2022: Who will win Most Valuable Player?
Who will win MLB MVP in 2022? We look at the latest odds from BetMGM, looking at the top candidates who could win the AL and NL MVP awards this season. While he’s not quite as elite in that spot defensively, he still earned a 3.2 Defensive rating from FanGraphs with three Defensive Runs Saved in 211 innings. On top of the defensive value, Edman is the best base runner in MLB and he’s outstanding atop the lineup. Combine the defense, versatility, base-running impact and offensive production together, it gives you an MVP candidate.
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2022 American League MVP odds
|Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels||+350|
|Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels||+400|
|Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays||+500|
|Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox||+1800|
|Aaron Judge, New York Yankees||+2000|
|Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox||+2000|
|Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays||+2000|
|Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins||+2000|
|Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Guardians||+2500|
|Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros||+2500|
|Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros||+2500|
|Jose Altuve, Houston Astros||+3000|
|Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays||+3000|
|Carlos Correa, Minnesota Twins||+4000|
- Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels – It’s understandable why Ohtani is the favorite to win AL MVP. It’s not even because he is the reigning award recipient. Ohtani can be among the MLB leaders in home runs and OPS, all while posting a stellar ERA with a high strikeout rate. With that said, we haven’t seen a back-to-back MLB MVP since 2012-’13 (Miguel Cabrera) and Ohtani comes with injury risks. However, he is the best player in baseball and it comes as no surprise he is favorite for MLB MVP.
- Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels – Turning 31 in August, Mike Trout last played 140-plus games in 2018. That’s not to say he can’t win AL MVP, this is still the best position player in MLB. However, Ohtani’s presence could lead to the teammates splitting votes. So, Trout won’t be the AL MVP candidate we’re betting on right now.
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays –Among the favorites to win AL MVP, Guerrero Jr. would be our pick. The expanded MLB playoffs mean missing the postseason, a negative for some voters, won’t be an issue. So, you have a slugger capable of winning the AL batting title and leading the league in home runs. Frankly, Vladito is a legitimate threat for the Triple Crown. Ranked third in AL MVP odds, Guerrero Jr. is our favorite to win the award.
- Aaron Judge, New York Yankees – It all comes down to durability for Aaron Judge. He played 155 games in 2017 and finished with 55 homers and 128 RBIs. Ever since, IL stints have become a yearly problem. The odds make him a reasonable bet, but the likelihood he stays healthy is low.
- Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox – Devers will certainly make a case for AL MVP if he maintains his production from 2021 (38 home runs, 214 runs produced, .538 SLG), but he needs the Red Sox to win the AL East. Otherwise, the division winner will likely have a player more deserving.
- Wander Franco, Tampa Bay Rays – There’s a very strong possibility Franco wins an AL MVP in his career. However, a 21-year-old without great power (right now) and who won’t be competing for a batting crown this year, probably doesn’t finish top-10 in AL MVP voting.
- Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox – No one should be expecting the version of Robert we saw in the second half of the 2021 season. The .350/.389/.622 slash line simply isn’t achievable for a player with a high strikeout rate. However, Robert is fully capable of hitting 30 home runs with 20 steals and 160 runs produced. If the White Sox finish near the top of the AL, Robert could take home MVP. Bet on him now while the odds are still great.
- Darkhorse: Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros (+3500) – The Astros will be strong favorites to win the AL West and Tucker proved for a large stretch of the season he can be the best player in the lineup. Capable of hitting 30-plus home runs with 20 steals, 100 RBIs and a high OPS, Tucker’s odds make him a great bet for MLB MVP.
2022 National League MVP odds
|Juan Soto, Washington Nationals||+300|
|Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves||+700|
|Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals||+900|
|Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers||+1000|
|Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers||+1200|
|Trea Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers||+1600|
|Francisco Lindor, New York Mets||+2000|
|Fernando Tatís Jr., San Diego Padres||+2500|
|Matt Olson, Atlanta Braves||+2500|
|Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves||+3000|
|Nolan Arenado, St. Louis Cardinals||+3000|
|Pete Alonso, New York Mets||+3000|
|Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers||+3300|
- Juan Soto, Washington Nationals – Soto is the best hitter in baseball and it’s not really a debate. The Nationals won’t win their division, but Soto can post an OBP near .500 with 30-plus home runs and carry this team to a Wild Card spot. If he does that, he’ll meet the very definition of MVP.
- Fernando Tatís Jr., San Diego Padres – Similar to Ohtani and Judge, durability is the most important factor for Tatís Jr. Sadly, the point is already proven. Sidelined until June with a fractured wrist, Tatis Jr’s odds to win MLB MVP take a massive shot. Bet on someone else.
- Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves – Acuña should be fully recovered from his torn ACL on Opening Day, but there is always the possibility that he isn’t quite the same level of athlete in his first year back. More time spent at DH with fewer steals could hurt his chances, but a 30-30 season also might win NL MVP.
- Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies – Voter fatigue is real. As a two-time NL MVP, Harper has history working against him. Few believe the Phillies are the team to beat in their division and that will also work against Harper. We’re not willing to bet on him winning it this year, but not because he won’t be deserving.
- Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers –After signing with the Dodgers, there’s a strong case to be made for Freeman to win MVP outside the current favorites. He’s going to be in a phenomenal lineup and playing for the best team in MLB. If the Dodgers get 30-plus home runs and a .950 OPS out of him, voters might choose him over a repeat (Harper) and a player on a non-contender (Soto).
- Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers – Playing for the best team in baseball in a big market, Betts already boasts two huge factors working in his favor. We haven’t seen the best version of him as of late, but the talent to hit 30 home runs with a .280-plus average for the No.1 team in the NL could sway voters.
- Francisco Lindor, New York Mets – It seems Mets fans are putting money on the line to get those NL MVP odds up for Lindor. It’s a bad bet. We haven’t seen that 30-homer and 20-steal player since 2019 and nothing suggests it’s returning. Spend those dollars betting on other darkhorse MLB MVP candidates.
- Matt Olson, Atlanta Braves – Moving from Oakland to Atlanta is a huge boost for Olson’s shot at an MLB MVP award. He’s a great bet to hit 40-plus home runs and drive in 100-plus RBI. If you combine that with Gold Glove defense at first for a division champ, that will earn a lot of MVP votes.
- Darkhorse: Max Scherzer, New York Mets (+4000) – The new face of the Mets’ rotation, Scherzer will be asked to do even more for the reasons mentioned above. He’s in the big market, will post numbers worthy of a Cy Young award and the extra attention for a potential division champ might earn him MVP.
When is MLB MVP announced?
MLB announced the 2021 AL and NL MVP recipients on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2021. An official announcement date for the 2022 MLB awards isn’t determined as of March, but the expectation is both MLB MVP awards will be handed out in November.
Recent MLB MVP winners
Shohei Ohtani won AL MVP in 2021, taking home all 30 first=place votes. Bryce Harper won his second MVP award, receiving 17 first-place votes.
Here are some of the past MLB MVP winners.
- 2021 – AL MVP – Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
- 2021 – NL MVP – Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies
- 2020 – AL MVP – José Abreu, Chicago White Sox
- 2020 – NL MVP – Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
- 2019 – AL MVP – Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
- 2019 – NL MVP – Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
- 2018 – AL MVP – Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
- 2018 – NL MVP – Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers
- 2017 – AL MVP – Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
- 2017 – NL MVP – Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
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This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.